Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

'King Street to Be the Royalty of Retail Again'

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

'King Street to Be the Royalty of Retail Again'

Article excerpt

MANCHESTER'S struggling King Street WILL become the 'Bond Street of the North' once more, insists a luxury jeweller who has just set up shop there - because more and more millionaires are set to move into the city.

Peter Harrington says the road, which is currently plagued by empty units, must make itself even more elite than it was in its heyday in order to attract super-rich customers who cannot currently get what they want in the city.

His firm, Harrington and Hallworth, expanded into the street from Wilmslow a week ago, despite many businesses having moved out due to high rent and rates.

He believes luxury shopping can thrive on the road as more expensive housing is built and wealthier people move in, again making the street Manchester's answer to Mayfair.

The M.E.N. reported last week how nearly 20 units are vacant on King Street and St Ann's Square as firms move to larger and cheaper spaces. But Peter points out the number of jewellers in the area has doubled in recent years and says the real transformation is yet to come.

"It's hardly started yet, although brands that were only on Bond Street are now here in Manchester and all doing well," he says. "As the city gets built, a few years down the line lots of very wealthy people will be living in the city, making Manchester more like an international city - London, or Paris or Dusseldorf - where living in town is no longer for poor people.

"The likes of Select are building fantastic apartments, millions of pounds - and they wouldn't be building them if they didn't think they could attract the right clients."

When he was first looking at King Street as a location, he admits he was 'horrified' by the way it had declined. But he believes it simply needs the right mix of businesses.

"I agree that King Street is in a bit of trouble at the moment," he says.

"It's been changing for the last few years and hasn't quite found its niche yet. …

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